There are eighty-bajillion spanking blogs out there, and 99% are written by someone who is "out" as a spanko... this one is about someone who is not out but is a spanko in secret. For those who love their vanilla spouse/partner/significant other but they don't share your attraction to spanking... you're not alone.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
LOL day- Interview with former lurker, now a succesful spanking writer, Natasha Knight
It's time again for the 9th annual Love Our Lurkers day. (I figure most folks have gotten the idea by now, but if you're new to spanking blogs, here's an explanation.)
I was going to post this later, but since this interview touched on several themes relevant to folks who lurk on my blog, since she provided such great answers, and since LOL day gets a bunch of readers... well, thought it made sense to post it today.
Thanks for agreeing to do this interview, and taking the time out of your busy schedule to do so. As I've mentioned before you're quite an accomplished writer of spanking romance novels. How long have you been writing spanking stories and how did you get started?
Hi Secret Spanko (should I call you that?). Thanks for having me. Yours was one of the first blogs I ever lurked on! So spanking romance. I have been writing them for just over two years - or I've been published for just over two years but have been writing them for maybe two and a half. I actually didn’t know what I was writing until Taught to Kneel came out. That was when I found a spanking romance specific publisher. I didn't know the term 'spanko', didn't know about domestic discipline as a thing that really exists and thought it was just me who had these 'dirty' thoughts. I still remember some of my first edits because I was writing it then all out of this place of wanting and never had experienced it - I believe my publisher used the words '30 spanks, even if he spanks really really hard, would not be memorable'. You can just imagine how embarrassed I felt… but that's two years ago just about and I've come out since and as you say, I'm a spanking weenie and 30 can be plenty memorable!
(Note to self- she started writing books about the time I started puttering around with this blog. Now she's a successful author and I'm still puttering around with this blog.)
I would have guessed you'd been writing a lot longer than that. How has the genre changed since you began? This was a genre way before 50 shades, right?
I believe Bethany's Woodshed was around a LONG time ago so yes, but recently, as in in the last year, the market is flooded with spanking romance. First on 50 shades - it's not spanking romance but it is 'erotica' that got a lot of people to read erotica and lost at least a little bit of their shame over it. Writing wise it is a lot more competitive but in a way, that's not a bad thing. I know my writing has evolved since that first novel and it evolves daily. Plus I like the challenge of thinking up hotter, edgier stuff and of course, I then have to try it out at home to make sure it all works… ;)
(Note to self- remind me to follow up on that "trying it out at home" bit.)
So, uhm, did you have any idea way back a couple of years ago that this would develop as it has?
Nope, not at all. Like AT ALL! I am very happy with how things are going writing wise, but more importantly, I figured out the piece that was really hard for me to see or face or admit to another. I started to write this to get these thoughts out of my head. I felt so ashamed for so long. I slowly told my husband what I was up to when my first piece was accepted. It went something like 'Oh, um…I have been writing, you know to fill the time, and I had an offer. It's erotica.' Him: 'Oh, um ok'. A few months later it was: 'well, it's BDSM'. Him: 'Oh………ok………' then after that 'It's mostly spanking but you know I don’t really want that myself, I just write it for other people and it's not something I would ever ever want…" and all the while my mind is yelling at my mouth to shut up already.
I came out to him on Christmas two years ago and I still remember that night. He didn't laugh or recoil in horror or anything. He just said 'ok'. He definitely struggled with his role as the spanker and there were some shaky months but we're in a really really good place right now and I am kind of wishing he'd stop spanking so hard! He keeps asking me 'where have you been all these years?' and it's kind of bittersweet but it just makes me want to say to all those people who are feeling shame that there is no shame even if you can't come out just yet. It's just the way we're built and it's ok.
Okay, not trying to get too personal here but is this more of a hobby or a full time job? Is it possible to make a decent living writing stories like this?
Well, when we moved to Holland, I became a stay at home mom. Before that I was earning a killing as a yoga teacher ;) I can say that you can earn well with this but it is very competitive right now. There's just a lot of really great stuff out there and that's a really great thing especially for the reader!
(Note to self- former yoga instructor! there goes the stereotype of the romance writer as a sweet little old lady with an active imagination and a houseful of cats- I bet she's hot!)
Where was I? uhm.. What advice would you give for aspiring spanking romance writers?
Write what you love and once it's published, don't look at Amazon rankings! Remember that if your product is not marketable, it may not sell as well, even if it has your heart and soul in it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn’t write it. My worst selling book is the one that got me the most connections with readers sharing their own stories and those are the very best things in the world. To touch someone else's life in some tiny little way, to make enough of an impact that they reach out and say 'that was me', it's pretty incredible and beautiful.
Another spanking romance writer I talked to said that she didn't think she had any male fans. Do you? That you're aware of? (Other than me, of course!)
Haha! I think I do. I know I do actually because I get mail (and not just the naughty kind). I do think the majority of my readers are women but I'd say about 20%. I kind of think that is because I write the spanking/sex a little harder so…??? Is that why you like me so much?
Uhm... yeah. That probably has something to do with it. (Well plus the former yoga instructor thing.) So, uh, back to the interview... What can you tell me about your readers? Do you think most of them are, in a sense, secret spankos too?
Yes, absolutely. This kink is engulfed in shame and we just hide. You know how it is! It hurts if we're rejected or made fun of and all it takes is one little comment to keep us in that closet for too many years. And I don’t even think that people outside of this mean to be judgmental. Yes, some are, of course, but I think all of that comes from a sense of shame that belongs to them in some way. They just maybe don't realize how sensitive we are to their comments or how big a deal this is to us.
Shifting gears a bit... You're not just a writer of spanking romance, you're into spanking personally right?
Yes, absolutely I'm into this. I couldn't write something I don’t find totally hot!
The scenes in the books are pretty wild. And you've included things that aren't just traditional spankings, like incorporating various creative anal punishments, or medical scenes, for example. Are those things that excite you and you just want to include? Is there any pressure to push the envelope for sales? Are those things people have requested? I'm not great at interviews but basically I'm asking- how much of what you write is for yourself vs. writing what you know your fans want to read- how about that?
Pretty much all of it is what I find hot. Like for me, breasts are not so erotic (probably because mine are tiny - TMI for your readers). [Nope!] If I put nipple clamps on a heroine, I pretty much forget to take them off because I'm so focused on the bottom and whatever goes on there! Writing anal punishment is hot hot hot for me. Writing medical is hot because I can focus on vulnerability, exposure. I love the idea of submitting to punishment or discipline. Discipline is kind of a key word for me at the moment. I’m totally rambling but just to wrap it up, I write what I find hot!
Is it getting a little hot in here? Where was I? Uhm... Just a random because I'm curious question- where do you get the covers for the books?
Korey Mae Johnson at Stormy Night Publications. She's kind of AMAZING!!!
Can't wait! Again, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I look forward to visiting again with you hopefully soon.
Now to my lurkers- Thank You! You're the reason I write stuff on here. I hope you enjoyed the interview, and recognized that here was a former lurker who since finding the blog has begun a rewarding career, and come out to her husband as a spanko. (And yes, she's happily married- I was kidding about getting all hot and flustered during the "interview"). But I hope her story can be as inspiring to some of you as it was to me.
And please feel free to comment, even if anonymously. I always try to respond.